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Open Letter to President Obama — The One Book You Should Read on Public Education: Reign of Error, By Diane Ravitch

September 21, 2013
Dear President Obama, You must read Professor Diane Ravitch's latest book, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools . You won't like it. No one likes reading about their failures. And that's exactly WHY you should read it. Your legacy is at stake. You risk having Race to the Top known as Race to the Bank due to the enormous payday tech companies, "edupreneurs," and charter chain operators stand to pocket from taxpayer money that instead should go to educating the nation's children. The official flickr photostream of the White House,...
Cynthia Liu's picture

Useless Baggage

April 28, 2013
They’ve hit a new low. Citing significant concerns about long lines at airports and flight delays caused by the furlough of air-traffic controllers, Congress is allowing the Federal Aviation Administration to override strict sequestration rules and re-direct funds within its budget. And they did so with lightning speed. With their big fuss over aviation punctuality, lawmakers make it clear that they're not feeling the pain felt by the majority of Americans. Their message: In the United States it’s fine to wait — and face a steep climb — for housing, health care, cancer treatment, a pre-school...
Jo Comerford's picture

Fair Elections Matter: Women’s Two-Fold Stake in Public Financing of Campaigns

April 23, 2013
It’s not just happenstance: Women have a two-fold stake in campaign finance reform, particularly public financing of state campaigns for public office. Why? First, tamping down the influence that money can buy is a big step towards delivering positive change for women’s priorities. If you care about having more women at the table when decisions are made, seeing that paid family leave and sick leave become law, fighting violence against women, finally achieving equal pay or a host of other issues, it is essential to overcome the big-money obstruction by re-balancing the scales for citizen...
Linda Tarr-Whelan's picture

Federal income taxes: “They don’t take them to be mean.”

April 2, 2013
A few weeks ago I spent the morning at Jackson Street Elementary School in Northampton, Massachusetts. My daughter is enrolled at Jackson Street in Jen Reed’s Kindergarten class, where I’ve – happily – volunteered in the past. But during this last visit I was with the “big kids” – the fifth graders. My host was Mary Cowhey, Jackson Street’s Title I math instructor. Mary asked me to teach about the federal budget in order to build students’ math and civic capacity. After all, there are a lot of “big numbers” in our nation’s budget and you and I are intimately connected with all of them. In a...
Jo Comerford's picture

#DemocracyDay with Rock the Vote!

March 22, 2013
Many people forget that young people rallied for and fought hard to lower the voting age to 18-years-old. On March 23, 1971, this demand became a reality; Congress proposed the 26th Amendment, which lowered the minimum voting age to 18, and a majority of states ratified it soon after. Today Rock the Vote, educators, politicians, and students commemorate the anniversary of the 26th Amendment with Democracy Day. Our annual Democracy Day celebration not only celebrates the passage of the 26th Amendment, but also recognizes Rock the Vote’s Democracy Class program. Democracy Class is a 45-minute...
Caitlin Maguire's picture

Congresswomen Hold Press Conference on How the Ryan Budget Would Impact Women

March 20, 2013
Yesterday I had the opportunity to take part in a press conference held by several Congresswomen on what the budget proposed by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) would do to women and their families (that’s me standing in front of the flag!). We’ve previously highlighted the ways the Ryan budget would harm women , like dismantling Medicaid and repealing the ACA; deeply cutting funding for programs like child care, Head Start, education and job training; and providing lavish tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations. The event, held by Representatives Donna F. Edwards (D-MD), Doris...
Katherine Gallagher Robbins's picture

Why I Like Paul Ryan, But Not His Budget

March 20, 2013
Years ago, I attended an event on economic policy where now-Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), was speaking. After the event, I introduced myself to him and shared that I was a former Hill staffer. I told him that, while I disagreed with nearly everything he had said regarding economic policy, I knew from a mutual friend that he was still a good guy. His response was pure Paul Ryan: he threw his head back and laughed. That was the day I joined the Paul Ryan Fan Club. While I don’t agree with him on policy issues, any elected official who can laugh with a...
Randi Schmidt's picture

Immunizing our Viejitos for Democracy!

February 6, 2013
While traditional political campaigns were out knocking on doors this autumn to get out the vote, health care providers in one of America’s poorest (and most remote rural, Hispanic, Native American) counties tried a novel approach to civic participation: we vaccinated thousands of our elders for democracy. Rio Arriba County covers a geographic area the size of Massachusetts, but claims only 41,000 residents: approximately seven people per square mile. Ten to twelve thousand foot peaks make roads impassible in inclement weather. Many of Rio Arriba’s elders are retired subsistence farmers and...
Lauren Reichelt's picture

No Teachers With Guns, No Police in Schools

January 12, 2013
On December 30, 2012, President Obama said he doubted arming school police with guns will prevent future school shootings , but then January 11, 2013's EdWeek hints that he may yield to local law enforcement officers and communities if it has "bipartisan" support. While President Barack Obama said recently that he would be skeptical that more guns would be an answer to school safety , his administration is considering paying to add police officers to secure public schools, in part because it may be an area of agreement among lawmakers of all stripes. SIGN THE K12NN PETITION TO DROP THIS VERY...
Cynthia Liu's picture

We Can Avoid the "Fiscal Cliff" Without Turning Our Backs on Our Most Vulnerable

December 4, 2012
Like most voters, Latinos cited jobs and the economy as their greatest concern in the days leading up to the election . The pressing importance of these issues led to an historic turnout of Hispanic voters in the 2012 election and overwhelming support for President Obama’s reelection. In the post-election period, Latinos are looking to our nation’s leadership to pursue policies that spur economic growth and keep us on the path to recovery. That progress, however, will be in jeopardy if our nation falls off the dreaded fiscal cliff on January 2, 2013, the day that deep spending cuts...
Janet Murguia's picture

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